In Depth: MSNBC Dayside Changes…What do the Ratings Reveal? Not much…

With the recent news of the hiring of Martin Bashir and Richard Lui for anchor positions on MSNBC, it appears MSNBC dayside is headed for some sort of September changes. The current version of MSNBC dayside dates back to the beginning of this year when there was a reboot of dayside. Interested in what MSNBC might be looking at in terms of dayside’s performance, ICN got its hands on the year to date ratings for MSNBC from 10am-4pm ET in a month by month breakdown for each hour. Unfortunately, the data is not very revealing. It shows that for the most part MSNBC dayside at each hour has been operating within a range and that the variations, while trending up in the demo recently, could be considered within Nielsen’s margin of error because of their small size when you’re only talking about tens of thousands.

While MSNBC has decidedly improved its dayside product by beefing up on news, it’s clear that for the moment it’s not been enough to move the ratings significantly. This may be why we’re now hearing about new hires and rumors of further changes to come. There are a couple of other interesting things going on here.

1. 10am ET is not following the same direction the ratings are going for the other news hours in the Total Viewer category (11-3pm). The other hours seem to be more in lockstep month to month. 10am, though, is charting its own course.

2. The other thing worth noting because of the public outcry in some areas of the internet is that, for all the talk of support by his fans on the internet and outrage over his removal, David Shuster’s disappearance from the schedule has not had a meaningful negative impact either at 10am or 3pm (Shuster was taken off the air in April).

Here are the numbers broken out by hour and month (all times ET)

10AM



11AM

12PM

1PM

2PM

3PM

4PM

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14 Responses to “In Depth: MSNBC Dayside Changes…What do the Ratings Reveal? Not much…”

  1. realreal10 Says:

    Really Interesting.

    Sad to see Dylan’s numbers go down—even though his show was getting pretty boring after awhile. But it is nice to see the Ratigan “team” putting forth some effort to keep viewers interested. They added some new segments—and are bringing in some diverse guests. Although, the one thing that might help Ratigan is if he actually seemed like he enjoyed his show. The “I’m too cool for school” shtick has lost its charm—and it seems like he just stepped into dog sh*t before every single show.

    Anyways—one hour that has gained viewers in both the demo and in total viewers is the 12am hour. It jumped from 57K in the demo to 93K. Impressive.
    And who (although somewhat inconsistently) hosts that hour?
    Contessa Brewer.

    That surprised me.

    And disappointingly Chris Jansing hasn’t seemed to have really budged the ratings much either. Although she really hasn’t had that much time.

    I had thought msnbc had all but given up on its dayside—when they were just mixing around Shuster, Hall and Brewer. I’m excited to see how they do with some new cast of anchors.

    Hopefully they will go back to a 2 anchor/ 2 hour format.

  2. I hope not. That studio, and that desk, was never really designed for a two anchor format. It can be done but it was designed with solo anchors in mind.

  3. I have confidence that, when Martin Bashir and Richard Lui start on MSNBC’s dayside, their ratings were certainly improve because they are well-known and credible anchors. Also, don’t forget the big role Cenk Uygur of TYT has been these days, and with his strong fan base, he should definitely draw a lot of viewership.

  4. been getting*

  5. ^ You’ll get used to the non-editing nature of this site. We’ve all…pretty good…filling in…blanks.

  6. Cenk Uygur of TYT has been these days, and with his strong fan base, he should definitely draw a lot of viewership.

    Cenk’s presence on MSNBC dayside is a source of extreme concern for me as is any political talking head who gets handed the anchor chair during a traditional news hour

  7. ^ Spud, at this point I’m kind of torn on the subject. There seems to be a “new normal” in news media that has a grey zone between “journalist” and “commentator”. That grey zone includes Jon Scott, Shannon Bream and Megyn Kelly on FNC, which seems to go unnoticed. I agree that a partisan shouter like David Shuster was too much, but Cenk did an admirable job of hosting a news show, with only occasional partisan asides. If this is indeed the new normal – especially if Fox is going to continue to get a free pass on it – I’ll take Uygur’s version of it.

  8. “Cenk’s presence on MSNBC dayside is a source of extreme concern for me as is any political talking head who gets handed the anchor chair during a traditional news hour”
    Maybe there thinking of dumping Ratigan and replacing him with Uygur. I know it’s a long shot but he is a much better anchor than DR.
    He could even replace Schultz or maybe the first hour of “Hardball’ and probably get better ratings after a few months.
    Besides it would annoy J$ all to hell. 🙂

  9. They won’t dump Ratigan. Not after just giving him a new EP.

    Joe, my problem is this so called “Firewall” NBC keeps talking about between primetime and daytime. So as long as the “firewall” is the operating rule, and nobody has come out lately to say it isn’t, I’m going to continue to hold their feet to the fire on dayside.

  10. Besides it would annoy J$ all to hell.

    I doubt it. Schultz is far more unstable on the air and therefore better canon fodder for Dollar and Cenk is. I think they keep the 5pm Hardball because then Matthews doesn’t have to stick around until 8pm most nights.

  11. and=then

  12. and=then

    Actually, it=than, but who’s counting?

    I think they keep the 5pm Hardball because then Matthews doesn’t have to stick around until 8pm most nights.

    And we all know what a wise decision that is..

  13. “They won’t dump Ratigan. Not after just giving him a new EP.”

    If Ratigan’s ratings tank they’ll dump him no matter who the EP is and I don’t see any real change in DR’s performance recently.

    “I doubt it. Schultz is far more unstable on the air and therefore better canon fodder for Dollar and Cenk is.

    I don’t know. J$ seems to have a pretty big personal dislike for CU based on his rant the other day. 🙂

    “I think they keep the 5pm Hardball because then Matthews doesn’t have to stick around until 8pm most nights.”

    What; he has to be in bed by 10 o’clock?

  14. What; he has to be in bed by 10 o’clock?

    Anyone who’s seen him perform then would answer that question in the affirmitive. A tired Chris Matthews is a dangerous Chris Matthews.

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